Multi-Voltage Motors

Simotics SD Pro low-voltage motors from Siemens (Munich, Germany) are suited for mains-fed operation or with a converter for voltages up to 690 volts. There is generally no need to use special filters at the converter output. They offer multi-voltage capability and can be stably operated with all common power supplies. The motors are available in shaft heights 315 to 450, and in the 2- and 4-pole versions, they cover a rated power output range of 250 to 980 kilowatts (kW).

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Motor Restart Relay

ATC Diversified Electronics, a division of Marsh Bellofram Corp. (Newell, WV), introduced the MAR Series Motor Auto-Restart Relay that provides automatic restart to a motor by bypassing the start switch to re-energize the M1 starter coil following a momentary drop or interruption of the control voltage. It is designed for industrial production processes with critical components not in a hazardous area and without permissive circuits. It offers different output interval restart ranges, restart delay ranges, an option for O/L relay L2 disconnect feature, and the choice of 8- or 11-pin plug-in versions.

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Planetary Gearboxes

GAM Enterprises (Mt. Prospect, IL) announced the EPR and PER Series right-angle bevel planetary gearboxes. Featuring a spiral bevel gear input to an inline planetary gear output, the gearboxes are available in ratios of 3:1 to 1000:1, and in a wide range of sizes and configurations. The EPR Series features five output options including three different shaft outputs, a hollow shaft output, and a flange output. The PER employs output bearings and is used in motion control applications where axial and radial loads are minimized. The PER has a metric or NEMA shaft output option. Both are available with motor mounting plates to accommodate most servomotors.

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Alignment Stage

The AU200-50×50-SC alignment stage from Optimal Engineering Systems (Van Nuys, CA) is a high-resolution, high-repeatability XY stage for alignment, assembly, medical, industrial, semiconductor handling, testing, scanning, and optical applications. The linear travel of the X and Y axes is 50 × 50 mm, and the resolution of each axis is 5 microns (non-micro-step) or 0.125 microns (with 20 micro-steps per step motor driver in use). Repeatability is 1.5 microns and positional accuracy is 5 microns. The XY table features a pattern of drilled and threaded mounting holes to facilitate the addition of tooling or fixtures. The two-phase stepper motors with knobs for manual adjustments of each axis are standard; servo motors are also available.

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Stepper Drives

Applied Motion Products (Watsonville, CA) announced AC-powered STR (STRAC) stepper drives for industrial applications powered by AC supply voltages. The drives feature advanced microstepping performance and current control with anti-resonance that improves motor smoothness and torque over a wide speed range. Units operate on AC supply voltages of 90 to 240 VAC and wire directly to 120 or 220 VAC line voltages to eliminate DC power supply requirements. The drives internally convert AC line voltages to high DC bus voltages to drive large step motors at maximum power. Available in two models, the STRAC2 drives provide up to 2.2 A/phase while the STRAC8 provides up to 8.0 A/phase. Each drive operates in step and direction or pulse/pulse control mode. Each drive microsteps to 25,000 steps/rev with a 1.8° step motor (1/125 step) even when command pulses are low-resolution. Users can set up drive parameters — including motor selection, current, and step resolution — using dip or rotary switches; no software is required.

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Slide Guides

NB Corp. of America (Hanover Park, IL) introduced high-precision, high-rigidity, high-load-capacity SGL slide guides. These linear bearings have low-friction, non-stick or non-slip mechanisms that provide smooth linear motion even under high loads. They range in length from 160 to 3000 mm. Six types of blocks are available, depending on the mounting space and desired mounting method. The number of tracking grooves for ball elements or rows of rollers varies by type of glide and width ranges. Both retained and non-retained ball elements are available. Product lines are available for demanding applications as well as products for standard industrial applications.

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Pumps

Iwaki America (Holliston, MA) introduced 316 stainless steel metallic seal-less pumps. The MP series features flows to 340 gallons per minute and the smaller MMP series is a fractional horsepower series of pumps with flows to 24 gallons per minute. Both series incorporate 316 stainless steel construction, a one-piece non-welded rear casing, and Silicon Carbide “D” bearings for limited dry run operation.

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Voice Coil Motor

Moticont (Van Nuys, CA) offers the GVCM-051-089-05S06 high-speed, high-acceleration/deceleration, zero-backlash, high-repeatability line voice coil motor with an internal shaft and bearing. The compact motor has a high force-to-size ratio with 5.5 lbs. (24.6 N) continuous force and 17.5 lb. (77.7 N) of peak force with a housing measuring 2 × 3.50". The stroke of the motor is 2.75" and the precision-ground shaft with a diameter of 0.2360" has an internal thread. The housing has threaded mounting holes for easy integration into current and future applications. The motor is also available as a complete plug-and-play system including a controller.

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Rotary Valve

RotaVal Ltd. (Wiltshire, UK) introduced an extra-heavy-duty rotary valve for use where handling solids and harsh operating conditions combine to cause abrasive erosion within the valve. It features full on-site component replacement and is used in discharging under adverse pressure conditions and wet materials such as cement, PFA, granite dust, silica sand, and mineral powders. The valve is manufactured in cast iron/SG Iron/Ni-hard/carbon steel. The replaceable body liner can be hard-chromed or ceramic-coated. Rotor shaft sealing options include various types of gland packing, mechanical seals, and air or grease purge.

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Delta Robot

igus (East Providence, RI) introduced a delta robot that can be delivered pre-assembled or can be assembled onsite. It is suited for simple assembly functions, pick-and-place tasks, and applications in inspection technology. The robot is based on three drylin® ZLW toothed-belt actuators, lubrication-free igubal spherical bearings, and other lightweight components. NEMA stepper motors and encoders provide handling by the delta robot of up to ±0.5 millimeters. The system has an installation space of up to 420 millimeters in diameter and can carry up to five kilograms at low speeds. The unit is constructed with aluminum and plastic materials and reaches a maximum pick rate of 60 per minute.

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Ball Check Valves

The TC Series True Union ball check valve from Hayward Flow Control (Clemmons, NC) is made of natural PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride) for use in high temperatures, extreme corrosive media, and high-purity systems. The valves feature a true union design with threaded or IPS Sch40/80 socket fusion end connections. The ball is made from solid PTFE. Sizes include 1/4" through 1". FPM seals are standard. All sizes carry a pressure rating of 150 psi 10 bar non-shock, at 70 °F (23 °C). Maximum service temperature is 240 °F (115 °C). Features include a square-cut seat for positive sealing and standard FPM O-ring seals with optional EPDM.

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Servo Drive

Elmo Motion Control (Nashua, NH) offers the Double Gold Twitter ultra-small servo drive and the Platinum Maestro motion controller with up to 256 axes. The drive is STO-certified (IEC 61800-5-2, SIL-3) and delivers more than 10,000 W of qualitative power with a weight of 1.2 ounces and continuous currents of 160A (80V) and 140A (100V). The miniature drive can be placed on a moving load, on the motor or inside the motor, helping to save space, reduce cables, and eliminate electrical cabinets.

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Position Sensor System

Micronor (Camarillo, CA) introduced the MR430 Size 11 fiber optic position sensor absolute rotary encoder. The sensor is based on Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) technology that features EMI-immune position feedback for operating environments with high voltage, RFI, microwave radiation, magnetic fields, or explosive atmospheres. The encoder offers 25-bit resolution (13-bit single turn and 12-bit multi-turn) with an update rate of 850 µs and the ability to operate interference-free over distances up to 30 meters (100 feet). The system consists of the MR430-1 DIN rail-mount controller and MR431 rotary sensor. The controller provides built-in interfaces for SSI, RS-485/Modbus RTU, Digital Set Point, and programmable 4-20mA and ±10V analog outputs.

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Collaborative Robot Module

Visumatic Industrial Products (Lexington, KY) offers the VCM-3X.2 collaborative robot module, a complete assembly feed and drive end-of-arm-tooling (EOAT) package. It includes an automatic screwfeeder, drive system, skeleton robot program, and end effector for direct mounting to a collaborative robot wrist. The module incorporates a bit advance assembly with dual-powered motion for controlled fastener installation. Slide position sensors confirm bit advance and retract, reporting to the robot controller that it is OK to move when the bit reaches the home position. The system has pre-programmed fault recovery logic to automatically continue driving screws after a force safety stop. This occurs without operator intervention.

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Motor Driver

US Digital (Vancouver, WA) released the MD3 programmable microstepping motor driver that drives motors up to 7A continuous duty. In addition to digital input controls, the driver can be configured and controlled using the open MODBUS RTU protocol over a RS-485 bus. A GUI application is supplied that allows many settings to be changed including the number of microsteps per full step, acceleration/deceleration rates, speed, and current cutback. The design supports multiple units on the same RS-485 bus and allows for programmable motion profiles. In addition, the driver has a brushed DC motor speed control mode.

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Angle Sensors

Novotechnik, U.S. (Southborough, MA) offers the RFC4800 Series of touch-less angle sensors measuring angular position up to 360°, revolution counter, and speed with a J1939 CANBus interface in addition to CANopen. Features include programmable zero-point offset, measurement averaging, and sign of rotational direction. The sensors have resolution of 14 bits across 360°, repeatability of 0.36°, and independent linearity of ±0.5% of full scale. Other output interfaces include analog voltage and current as well as digital output options of IO-Link, SSI, SPI, and incremental. Single- and multi-channel versions are available. The sensors are sealed up to IP69K and operating temperature range is -40 to +125 °C.

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Electric Drive Simulation

dSPACE (Wixom, MI) introduced hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) systems for emulating electric motor and battery components with voltages up to 800 V, which means that all drive components of hybrid and fully electric drives can be represented with a real energy flow. The high-voltage-load hardware can be flexibly used with regard to currents and number of phases as well as the type of voltage source to be emulated. Using the same hardware for the emulation of loads such as electric motors, and sources such as batteries and the AC grid, makes the systems cost-effective. The energy flow in the system circulates without complex grid feedback. An open (Simulink/Xilinx) library provides the required simulation models, from FPGA models for motors and incremental encoders, to Automotive Simulation Models (ASMs) for batteries and complete powertrains. High-frequency rotating fields and all operation points of an electric motor can be emulated, both in motor and generator operation. By frontloading the conventional dynamometer testing to emulators, the high-voltage electronic loads integrate seamlessly into hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) validation. Because the currents can be emulated precisely, it is possible to display ripple currents as well as harmonic frequencies, which allows for testing the latest control concepts. Furthermore, it is possible to emulate many important aspects for fault simulation, such as leakage currents, zero currents, or current-limited short circuits. The integrated monitoring and limiting of voltages, currents, and temperatures protects the connected electronic control units (ECUs) at all times.

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Plastic Bearings

Anticorrosive, chemical-resistant, nonmagnetic, and lubrication-free plastic bearings from Kashima Bearings (Schaumburg, IL) feature dimensional tolerance, linear thermal expansion, and water absorption characteristics. Materials include PTFE or UHMWPE for chemical environments due to their corrosion resistance and non-absorbency, and PEEK and PPS for various applications for high chemical and heat resistance, and dimensional stability. The bearings do not require grease or oil and meet the cleanroom demands of the semiconductor industry; they also do not rust when exposed to chemical cleaners or rinsing water in semiconductor applications. The non-magnetic design makes them suitable for use in medical equipment or control units where the development of any static and noise should be prevented.

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Encoders

POSITAL (Hamilton, NJ) offers kit-style encoders for feedback for servo and stepper motors that enable a control system to have complete information on the physical position of the mechanical components that it is directing. Multiturn absolute kit encoders are based on magnetic sensing technology. The multiturn counting system is powered by wire energy harvesting technology that enables the absolute encoder to maintain true absolute position over power cycles and rotation of the encoder during power-off conditions. With 17 bits (131,072 positions) of single-turn resolution and 16 bits (65,536 turns) of multi-turn range, the encoders are suited for position control applications.

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Accelerometers

PCB Piezotronics (Depew, NY) announced Models 357A64 and 357M168 accelerometers designed for extreme temperatures from 1200 °F (649 °C). The single-ended-output, charge accelerometers feature a UHT-12 sensing element and integral hardline cable terminating in a 10-32 jack connector. The 357A64 features a screw tab mount and the 357M168 has a weld tab mount.

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Motion Controllers

Nippon Pulse America (Radford, VA) introduced Performax (PMX) motion controllers. The box controllers utilize the company’s PCL-6000 series advanced motion controller chips for 4-axis and 2-axis motion. The PMX series also features linear coordinated motion capabilities as well as circular coordinated motion capabilities for four-axis models. Available functions include trapezoidal or S-curve acceleration, encoder feedback support, on-the-fly speed change, multi-task standalone programming, and analog joystick control. The controllers are available with USB, RS-485, and Ethernet communication options.

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Programmable Logic Controller

IDEC Corp. (Sunnyvale, CA) released the MicroSmart FC6A Plus PLC with up to 2,060 local I/O to control and monitor the largest machines or entire small-scale manufacturing facilities. Program memory is 800 kB (100K steps). Two models are available, each with 24 Vdc input power. The 16 I/O model has 8 inputs and 8 relay or transistor outputs. The 32 I/O model has 16 inputs and 16 transistor outputs. Each model also includes an integral 0-10 Vdc analog input with 12-bit resolution. Each model can accommodate up to three plug-in discrete, analog, serial communication, or Bluetooth cartridges. Up to 63 I/O expansion modules can be added, enabling the unit to handle up to 2,060 I/O with a maximum of 511 analog I/O. The controller also includes an optional Bluetooth wireless communication adapter, giving users the power to monitor the PLC and download/upload programs from any PC or laptop with Bluetooth capability. Files can be stored at the PLC or logged to the PLC’s SD memory card for transfer to an FTP server. All models have two built-in RJ45 Ethernet ports. Optional plug-in communication cartridges can be added to create two additional RS232C/RS485 ports.

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Linear Motion Platform

Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) offers the Integrated Granite Motion (IGM) platform that can be designed with mechanical or air bearings, ball-screw or linear-motor drives, and a variety of feedback elements ranging from encoders to laser interferometers. Additional axes of motion — such as rotary, lift, or piezo stages, or even galvanometer scanners — can be integrated onto the axes. IGM systems can have higher stiffness than a stage-on-granite solution because the IGM system has fewer parts in the structural loop. The systems can be more compact due to the more integrated nature of machine components and granite. This provides for the possibility of smaller Abbe offsets and better machine positioning accuracy. In addition, it is simpler to optimize axis design parameters such as travel length and payload capacity because each axis of an IGM solution is engineered and built directly into the main granite structure.

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Integrated Motors and Drives

AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) offers SureStep integrated drive/ motor units that provide accurate microstepping position and speed control for smooth motion and step response. They require only two components: power supply and integrated stepper motor/drive. Standard and advanced motor/drives are available. They feature torque from 54 to 340 oz-in and software-selectable resolutions ranging from 200 steps per revolution. The drives can operate with traditional high-speed inputs but can also be commanded via 0–5V analog input. An internal indexer can accomplish point-to-point moves controlled via ASCII communication. Free SureMotion Pro drive configuration software is available for advanced integrated motor/drives to configure and set up the drive, including drive, motion control mode, I/O, and motor. A Status Monitor screen aids in troubleshooting alarms and faults.

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Magnetic Couplings

Miki Pulley (Plymouth, MN) introduced magnetic couplings that transmit torque from one shaft to another using a magnetic field rather than a mechanical connection. The design incorporates rare earth neodymium magnets in the assembly to transmit torque by pairing opposite magnetic poles via the input and output hubs without physical engagement. The couplings have an intended engineered torque limit at a specific air gap. The transmittable maximum torque may be adjusted by increasing or decreasing distance between coupling hubs. Depending on model, size, and installed air-gap, the magnetic couplings’ upper torque limit may be exceeded without mechanical damage. The hub slips to the next magnetic pole without noise or mechanical wear. Applications include automation including assembly systems, pumps, compressors, and transmissions in closed containers. Four models in multiple sizes are available with torque from 2.66 in-lbs. to 1610 in-lbs. Bore size ranges from 8 to 55 mm on butt shaft configurations.

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Machining Software

Mastercam 2019 machining software from CNC Software (Tolland, CT) features 2D through multi-axis milling automation features, CAD and model preparation improvements, expanded 3D tooling, Accelerated Finishing™, and turning and mill-turn enhancements. A series of automated 2D through 5-axis toolpath improvements includes re-engineered chamfering and holemaking, plus multiax-is deburring. Other features include enhanced CAD functionality and 3D model import support, improved part preparation and fixture setup tools, additional PowerSurface capabilities, and expanded support for Model-Based Definition (MBD). An expanded digital tool library capability delivers 3D tool assembly models. The software offers improvements to toolpath and machine simulation, tool-path graphics, and other verification and analysis tools as well as support for block-drilling multiple holes simultaneously and better axis control in simulation.

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Threaded Shaft Collars

Ruland (Marlborough, MA) offers inch and metric left-hand threaded shaft collars available in one- and two-piece clamp styles in steel and stainless steel with bore sizes ranging from 1/8 to 2-1/4" and 4 to 30 mm. Left-hand threaded shafting is used to reduce the risk of components coming loose in rotating applications and as a safety measure to prevent the unintended removal of critical components. Threaded shaft collars are suited for guiding, spacing, stopping, mounting, and component alignment in industries such as packaging, printing, semiconductor, and solar. The two-piece type allows for installation or disassembly without the need to remove adjacent components. Threads are double-tapped for a burr-free finish. The units offer controlled face-to-bore perpendicularity (TIR ≤0.002" or 0.05 mm) when used as a load-bearing face or for aligning components such as bearings or gears. The collars are manufactured from 1215 lead-free steel with a proprietary black oxide finish and 303 stainless steel with hardware of like material.

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Gearboxes

EXSYS Tool (San Antonio, TX) introduced EPPINGER high-precision planetary-type gearboxes available in PE (planetary eco) and PP (planetary precision) styles for applications that require low backlash, high efficiency, shock resistance, and a high torque-to-weight ratio. With a modular design that combines ground gears and precision gear components, the gearboxes mount to a variety of motors through a flexible flange system. The range comprises five sizes, with each size offered as a single-, dual-, or triple-stage design. Each gearbox variant is also available as a precision design with reduced backlash. Overall transmission ratios are available from i = 3:1 to i = 512:1 in a variety of applications. Servo planetary gearboxes in PT-style are also available for installation of all common servomotors with all sizes of the gearboxes. PT-style gearboxes feature a design by which all ring gears, planet gears, and sun pinions are case-hardened and ground for high-stiffness positioning tasks.

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Accelerometer Modules

Silicon Designs (Kirkland, WA) introduced Model 2422H low-voltage, specialty hermetic MEMS variable capacitive accelerometer modules available in eight models with standard ranges from ±2 g to ±400 g. The modules are designed for zero- to medium-frequency vibration and acceleration sensing in commercial and industrial applications where a hermetically sealed case and +5 VDC regulated power supply are required. Modules are packaged in an IP67-rated, hermetically sealed, lightweight titanium case for protection from moisture, dust, corrosion, and other contaminants. The modules produce differential analog output voltage pairs (AON & AOP) that vary with acceleration. Signal outputs are fully differential about a common mode voltage of approximately 2.5V. Modules can support either a ±4V differential or 0.5V to 4.5V single ended output, and can respond to both DC and AC acceleration. Units are relatively insensitive to temperature changes and gradients over a standard operating temperature range of -55 to +125 °C.

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Servomotors

Gibson Engineering (Norwood, MA) offers the MR-JE-C servo and compatible HG-KN and HG-SN motors featuring One-Touch Tuning™ that sets gains and filters in real time, continuously tuning to optimize gains, minimize setting time, and eliminate cumulative errors. Inherent MR-JE servo features support pulse train command, analog voltage command, and absolute position detection. The CC-Link IE Field Basic one-network solution enables seamless connectivity within all levels of manufacturing by SLMP (Seamless Message Protocol). This feature allows CC-Link IE Field Basic Network-compatible products and Ethernet-compatible products to be connected on the same Ethernet-based network. The motors also support Modbus TCP/IP communication over Ethernet for communication directly to the drive.

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Gear Drives

Zero-Max Crown right-angle gear drives from Zero-Max (Plymouth, MN) feature Beacon 325 premium-grade grease and heat-treated AGMA Class 10 spiral bevel gears. The drives feature precision hardened and ground ball bearings that handle speeds up to 2,000 rpm in most operating environments. The internal gears are permanently mounted to the shafts with a press-fit and locking pins. Lubrication with Beacon 325 grease ensures optimum performance in temperature ranges from -50 to +120 °C without evaporation for use in systems using motors, generators, and similar equipment in industrial applications. The drives are pre-lubricated during assembly, then completely enclosed in a heavy-duty anodized aluminum housing. Available in many sizes and models, they are suited for a range of horsepower, torque, and shaft speed requirements. Standard two- and three-way models are available with 1:1 and 2:1 speed ratios in shaft diameter combinations of 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, and ¾.

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Linear Actuators

SKF Ecomag linear actuators from SKF Motion Technologies (Lansdale, PA) can be supplied in four versions: push models ECO 2/4 and ECO 6/8, and push/pull models ECO 3/5 and ECO 7/9. Depending on model, the actuators can deliver push-load force up to 6000 N or 1348 lbs. and pull-load force up to 4000 N or 899 lbs., stroke ranges up to 300 mm or 12", and positioning speeds up to 13 mm/s or 0.5 in./s. All versions integrate built-in limit switches. As an option, encoder signals can be specified for added positioning functionality. Control units can be mounted directly on the actuator’s housing to eliminate separate control-box installation and optimize the use of available space. Available control units include plug-in types to accommodate up to four actuators. The actuators are fully tested and UL-certified according to IEC 60601-1.

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Linear Drives

Amacoil-Uhing rolling ring linear drives from Amacoil (Aston, PA) offer a mechanical alternative to electronically controlled linear motion systems in automated machinery. The drives convert the rotary motion input from a threadless shaft into linear output. A new option for fine adjustment of travel distance permits more precise location of the end stops to set reversal points. In a standard linear drive assembly, the end stops determining stroke length are situated on hex rods and are held in place with set screws. To set the stroke length, users loosen the set screws and slide the stops to the desired position. With the fine adjustment option, the end stops are on threaded rods. The rods are extended through the pillow block end support and a control knob is mounted on the end of each rod. Turning the control knobs rotates the threaded rods, causing the end stops to move in fine increments for improved precision in setting reversal points. The operator may adjust stroke length while the drive is in operation without placing hands near moving parts. The control knobs are typically positioned on the end of the threaded rods opposite the drive end of the shaft to assure clearance for connecting the shaft to the drive source. Travel speed and direction are mechanically controlled independent of the drive motor and shaft rotation direction; electronic controls — clutches, cams, gears — are therefore unnecessary.

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Motion Design Magazine

This article first appeared in the October, 2018 issue of Motion Design Magazine.

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